Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Poems by Bryn Fortey

I'm pleased to say that I am starting to get some pieces about not driving.  Let's start with Bryn Fortey's poem set in the UK.  I hope that reading his poem will encourage you to send me your poems on this theme (not driving)--although I'm always happy to receive poems set in the UK.  


DRIVE by James Sallis
Is permanently in my top ten novels
Sparse, pared back, no padding
I admire the writing
Even though the title is not  
Part of my personal vocabulary 


When other teens were
Working on worn out old bangers
Head stuck under a rusting hood
Happily covered in oil and muck
I was
Having a smoke
A glass of beer
Trying to chat up
The new girl on the block

I have never had any interest in cars
Or any wish to drive one

I took lessons once
At an employer’s insistence
But they just showed me firsthand
How many idiots drove cars
And confirmed what I knew
That it wasn’t for me

There have been times in my life when
A license might have been handy
But I’ve made it
Got by
All the way to old age
Without one

With one
My level of incompetence
Might have seen me dead years ago

Swings and roundabouts my friend
Any chance of a lift?

Bryn Fortey 

I just realized that the poem above is a repost.  Oh well.  I meant to post the poems below.  Both honor musicians born in the 1930s.

(1930  -  1970)

In a genre renowned for the claiming
Of unproven relationships
Earl Zebedee Hooker really was
The younger cousin of the more famous
John Lee Hooker

Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi
A birthplace the Hooker cousins shared with
The likes of Son House and Ike Turner
Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf
Lived there a spell
And Bessie Smith tragically died there

Earl was an acknowledged master of
The slide guitar and wah-wah blues
Paving the way for the likes of
Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck

A misspent youth saw him run with
Chicago street gangs
A careful man a dollar
Renowned for his reluctance to pay
The members of his bands

He died young
Finally losing his battle against tuberculosis
Being remembered mainly
As a musician’s musician
Still known to have been enormously influential

Bryn Fortey

(1938  -  1972)

Hard bop player Lee Morgan
Was hired by Dizzy Gillespie at 18
And Dizzy knew a thing or two
About jazz trumpeters
A year on and he was part of
Coltrane’s Blue Train sessions
Later joining Art Blakey’s
Jazz Messengers  
Before recording with Benny Golson
And leading his own group
He even had a crossover hit
With The Sidewinder
But his development as a
Soloist, band leader and composer
Was cut tragically short
When his long-term girl-friend
Shot him after an argument
At Slug’s Saloon, a New York club
Where his band had been playing
His injuries might not have been fatal
But the ambulance was delayed
By bad driving conditions following snow
And Lee bled to death
On such twists of fate do we live or die
Bryn Fortey  

Of course, I have to start with Ahmad Jamal's "But Not for Me":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkogQxKXwZc

Lunice and the Jealous Guys is more hiphop than jazz, but I have to post a song like "Bus Stop Jazz."  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZszINdMC9g

I also have to post Guru's "Transit Ride" with old old footage from the NYC subway:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zzhKmfA4zw
Branford Marsalis plays both alto and soprano saxophone on this song.

Thank you for your patience with me.  Here is Tommy McCook's "Jazz Walking."

I'll finish with "Walkin'" with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Billy Cobham.  Not only is it real jazz as one of the YouTube commenters says but it also sets a rapid pace!

I realize that I should include some music by Earl Hooker, especially since Bryn has introduced him to The Song Is...

Let's start with "Earl's Boogie":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joOiY13EXLk

Here is his "End of the Blues": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGokpytzVAw

"Sky is Crying" has Johnny Walker on vocals:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UwtckAte4

I'll include a couple more links to Lee Morgan's music.

I don't think I've posted his hit "The Sidewinder":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJi03NqXfk8

I'll finish with his "Search for the New Land":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDfkkRa1VA8

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